- This is the future

The new framework agreements for FMC Technologies and Aker Solutions strengthen Ågotnes as the world's leading center for subsea aftermarket services. No place globally is close to the position Ågotnes has won. Therefore, parents, youth and people else, must pay attention.

Published: 1 March 2013

The agreements that Statoil awarded FMC Technologies and Aker Solutions at 26th of February are estimated to 14 billion kroner and are valid for five years. In addition, both vendors have received optionally periods of three times three years. This imply a possible contract period of 14 years ahead and further services worth tenfold of billions.

Largest ever

- Overall, this is the largest contract for subsea aftermarket services ever. The agreements are long lasting and their frames indicate that Statoil has an active profile with regard to operations and maintenance. The aim is to ensure subsea fields a high recovery rate and longevity, Trond Olsen says. He is CEO at NCE Subsea.

The contracts have important consequences for the whole region.

Creating the future

-The contracts consolidate and strengthen Ågotnes as the world's premier center for subsea aftermarket. No place globally is close to the position Ågotnes has won.

This fact should have implications for how people and businesses plan the future, Olsen is convinced.

- It is great future in this. This is our future livelihood. This is a future to build on both for businesses and young people how seek education and employment.

Secures long-term activity

- The contracts secure both activity and predictability in building up the needed industrial capacity for the future. This applies not only for Aker Solutions and FMC Technologies, but also for subcontractors. When workload increases for FMC Technologies and Aker Solutions, also more work will be demanded from companies in the subsea cluster. The contracts will also create new investments, new jobs and new subcontractors, says Olsen.

Strives for industrial development

- In terms of Statoil’s volume and activities on the Norwegian shelf, it was vital to ensure the vendors’ capacity in this field. The agreements reflect the efforts we make to increase production and to prolong life of field through subsea maintenance, Ove Magne Kallestad says. He is Vice President Subsea Technology & Operations in Statoil and board member of NCE Subsea.

Kallestad envisions that industrial development in aftermarket now will accelerate.

- The major idea is long-term presence and predictability with focus on quality, time and cost. We will contribute to further development and professionalizing of the aftermarket product within subsea. The agreements provide a basis for developing the aftermarket industry further and will also lead to a more robust industry.

Ready to invest

- More predictability is the most important consequence of the long-term agreement. Now we can invest both in organization and facilities so that we can manage the growth that is coming, Ingmar Westervik says. He is CEO in FMC Technologies Customer Support at Ågotnes and board member of NCE Subsea.

FMC Technologies has already received governmental approval for a new office space housing 360 employees. 20,000 square meters of workshop, warehouse and office facilities will be added to their infrastructure at Ågotnes according to plans. With the contract signed, the construction work now may start. Also at the bases in Kristiansund and Florø, activity will increase.

Only last year, FMC Technologies employed about 200 persons and must now hire even more people. A total of 1,000 employees are led from Ågotnes, which is the headquarters for the eastern hemisphere. 600 work at Ågotnes themselves.

- Yes, we need more people, and that is a challenge we take positively, states Westervik.

He feels that FMC Technologies is an attractive employer and points to its high rating among students.

-We need people within most fields. Nevertheless, three groups stand out, he says, and mentions service engineers that work offshore, workshop specialists and engineers.

Depending on suppliers

The agreement will also be important for our suppliers, confirms Westervik.

- We depend on our suppliers to provide services to us, both on local level, national level and on the international level. We want to use local suppliers as long as they are competitive with regard to quality, deliverance and price. Now many of them here at Ågotnes and in Hordaland have the opportunity to expand cooperation with us further.

Westervik stresses the importance of nurturing the subsea environment further.

-It's important that we develop the subsea cluster further with regard to forums, interaction and knowledge sharing of requirements that apply to subsea. We have a fine subsea organization today, both for existing customers and new customers who want to enter the industry. Good work has been done, which also is recognized internationally, says Westervik.

Increased longevity and new services

Also to Aker Solutions, the new deal is of great importance.

- We have entered into a binding cooperation that extends over a longer time than previous. Also more services are added to the framework agreement, Arne Riple says. He is Vice President of Aker Solutions Lifecycle Services and board member of NCE Subsea.

Aker Solutions is currently expanding for 500 million kroner at Ågotnes. A major reason is the new agreement. Two workshops and a new office building will be constructed.

The last years, about 100-150 people have yearly been added to the organization at Ågotnes, a trend that Riple believe will continue. Ahead Aker Solutions will hire a diverse group of labors, but of course many of them will be engineers.

Important network

Riple also emphasizes the importance of having good subcontractors on the team.

- When sales volumes grow significantly, it is very useful to be backed by a vital and clever network, both at Ågotnes and in Norway elsewhere. We have always forwarded a nice share of our contracts to our suppliers, and I am convinced this will continue.